When the Atlanta Falcons selected Bijan Robinson in the 2023 NFL Draft, there were criticisms about the value of running backs, why they didn’t use the pick on a quarterback, and questions about selecting a running back after Tyler Allgeier had a strong rookie season. After the first five games of the season, Robinson has proved to be as good as advertised and has helped Desmond Ridder immensely.
Although Robinson only has two touchdowns this season, both came in victories, and his best game came in their win against the Green Bay Packers. One of those touchdowns was a highlight-worthy play where he corralled a behind-the-back pass from Desmond Ridder and helped Atlanta pick up the win against Houston last week.
Bijan Robinson is already one of the best in the league for the Falcons
Ridder has featured Robinson as a security blanket out of the backfield and the young running back has responded with 21 receptions while averaging seven yards per catch. He has the same number of receptions as Brandon Aiyuk, more receiving yards than Jahan Dotson, and has caught more first downs than Brandin Cooks.
The young running back has also totaled 364 rushing yards and is averaging over 5 yards per carry. He has already rushed for 21 first downs and is averaging almost 73 rushing yards per game. His impact has been substantial and helped Atlanta run their preferred offensive system throughout the young season.
In the win previously mentioned against Green Bay, Robinson totaled 124 rushing yards and 48 receiving yards. He has played a major role in Atlanta coming back to win the game. His performance last week may have been subdued compared to the Packers or Jaguars matchups, but his touchdown mentioned above was a massive play and seems like the start of things to come.
The doubts about Robinson’s value may be revisited down the line, but he’s already one of the best running backs in the entire league. His play helps Arthur Smith control the clock and keep the offense moving while Ridder continues to grow, and he’ll likely continue to get substantial carries in nearly every game this year.
Allgeier has still been featured in the offense with nearly 200 rushing yards and utilizing both backs throughout the season seems like a positive based on early returns. Having Allgeier around can ensure that Robinson doesn’t get overworked while also allowing the team to use him utilizing him as a split-back or in dual-back formations to keep defenses guessing.
Atlanta is entering a stretch of their season that could potentially determine their playoff fate and have winnable matchups against the Commanders, Buccaneers, Titans, and Vikings over the next four weeks. Robinson will play a massive part in those games and if he can continue his strong start, the team could potentially go undefeated over the next few weeks.